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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I knew it would be inevitable, 64k miles and yesterday was the day my water pump finally decided to leak enough to where I could identify it. Still no puddles or drips, but the leak blew back onto the underside of the engine and I could smell the coolant.
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I've been paranoid since the day I bought it over a year ago that it would be on the list to do. Well now that time is here. Who wants to give me a hand in the Austin, TX area with the swap? I’m fairly confidant I can do it myself, just not looking forward to the headache of the disassembly/reassembly of all the parts around it to get the job done.
 

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I knew it would be inevitable, 64k miles and yesterday was the day my water pump finally decided to leak enough to where I could identify it. Still no puddles or drips, but the leak blew back onto the underside of the engine and I could smell the coolant.
View attachment 117179

I've been paranoid since the day I bought it over a year ago that it would be on the list to do. Well now that time is here. Who wants to give me a hand in the Austin, TX area with the swap? I’m fairly confidant I can do it myself, just not looking forward to the headache of the disassembly/reassembly of all the parts around it to get the job done.
Mine is still fine with almost 60k miles. Will do it before it fails. Can be really inexpensive doing it yourself since pumps are dirty cheap. There is a way of doing it without removing the turbo or anything. You will need a special tool too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Mine is still fine with almost 60k miles. Will do it before it fails. Can be really inexpensive doing it yourself since pumps are dirty cheap. There is a way of doing it without removing the turbo or anything. You will need a special tool too.
I have the DDM instructions for replacement without turbo removal as well as the water pump gear tool ordered. I still haven’t ordered the pump yet though, I’m still not sure which one to pick up and I need to confirm all of the parts and gaskets I’ll need. I’m in no rush at the moment, if it takes me a few days in the evening to get it done then so be it. I’ll welcome any tips or anyone who wants to lend a hand in the area though.
 

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Stuff I used:
Sprocket tool
Pump (no rear cover)
Thermostat

Plus quite an assortment of 1/4" extensions, wobbles, etc. to get at the thermostat cover bolts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Just an update: I'm planning on working on this project little by little, it's still hot outside (hottest day of the year so far is forecasted for today) so working on it as I have time and when the temps get cooler. I'm in no rush as this is a weekend car and spends most of it's time in the garage anyway.

Yesterday I spent a few hours tearing down what I could, Venom brace, intake, right charge pipe, cowl and wipers, and the thermostat housing, wires, and hoses. The t-stat housing was a PIA to remove. I imagine if I had pulled the cat it would of made my life easier, but the T-stat housing is removed now. The pipe that connects the thermostat housing and the water pump is currently not budging from the water pump. So that's on the list for today as well as the actual removal of the water pump if I'm up for it. If not, maybe tomorrow. As someone who has the tools and the mechanical capabilities, I can say without a doubt this has so far been the most difficult water pump job I have ever tackled. There is almost no room to maneuver and work.
 

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Agree that it is a stupidly space-constrained project. With the motor out of the car it's 20 minutes. In the car...I spent most of two days in the midst of the hottest days Seattle has ever recorded (got to 109). A magnetic bit on a long 1/4" wobble extension makes the thermostat cover less of a PITA (but it's still a PITA).

My hands and forearms were all scraped and scratched when I got done with it. Glad to have it done. Hope to never do again.

Good luck...slow and steady and careful, as you don't want to do it twice :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I pulled the pump last night, the gear tool appears to be doing its job. The cross tube that's held in with pressure between the WP and the T-stat housing was stuck into the WP and gave me a scare since it wouldn't budge. I spent about 30 min wiggling it around and pulling and it finally came loose. Removing the pump ironically was one of the easier tasks of this whole project so far. Separating the two halves was challenging and the game of Tetris to remove the 2 pieces was tedious, but not difficult.

I'm most likely going to mount the new WP tonight so the reverse install may prove to be the challenging part, as you have new gaskets and you have to align everything just right. I'm already planning on using a longer bolt to align the WP gear since you can't really sight it. I'm also planning on using plenty of Vaseline to hold the gaskets and bolts in place. The rest of the install will have to wait for later in the week as I'm waiting for the replacement gasket kit to arrive for the rest of the install.
 

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I'm also planning on using plenty of Vaseline to hold the gaskets and bolts in place
I didn't like the idea of introducing Vaseline into the finicky cooling system. The gaskets that came with my pump have little ears that pretty well locked them into the grooves. I used some Dexcool and lubricant, and double-checked all the gaskets before fitment. The thermostat gasket was the only one that got askew from me fiddling things into place.

Good luck finishing it up!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I didn't like the idea of introducing Vaseline into the finicky cooling system. The gaskets that came with my pump have little ears that pretty well locked them into the grooves. I used some Dexcool and lubricant, and double-checked all the gaskets before fitment. The thermostat gasket was the only one that got askew from me fiddling things into place.

Good luck finishing it up!
Hmm good point, I hadn't considered that. On other o-rings and gaskets I've used Vaseline or a silicone lube to help hold them in place when setting, but our cooling systems are finicky.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
The water pump is in as of last night. Honestly the install wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. I got some advice on FB to use the long bolt from the t-stat housing to align the gear bolt holes as it's plenty long enough to see from the other side. With that one bolt hole set it was easy to thread in the other bolts and then tighten up the WP bolts. Still waiting on a new t-stat, temp sensor, and the replacement gaskets which are supposed to be here today so hopefully tonight I can complete the install and see if all is well.
 

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Sorry I just saw this. I'm in Cedar Park and did this to my RL a while back. One thing I would have said was to use the same torque on the holding tool as you would to mount the WP to the pulley. Some people just go finger tight and the chain ratchets out a click.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Sorry I just saw this. I'm in Cedar Park and did this to my RL a while back. One thing I would have said was to use the same torque on the holding tool as you would to mount the WP to the pulley. Some people just go finger tight and the chain ratchets out a click.
Perfect timing! LOL I finished the install today and everything is all buttoned up.

It looks like it was a successful install, no whine and no leaks. I'm currently working on purging the air out of the coolant using the Martin/Ronack method that I used previously when I did my coolant flush. I think I might have gotten it though, as temps are staying steady with only a degree or two of fluctuation now after multiple runs. Currently it's sitting around 195ish idling and driving which is cooler than it ran previously, which was around 200-205 so that could be the new t-stat or the slightly cooler fall temps that just rolled in as we're in the 80's now. So fingers crossed everything stays dry and tight and I should be good mechanically for some time to come.

I can say that the full circle WP gear tool is a life saver, I can't imagine trying to do the gear bolts using the half moon ones. Plus you have four points of anchor instead of just two which probably saved me from the whine and lost bolts. The WP itself isn't that bad once you figure out the geometry of unbolting it, flipping it over and unbolting the cover, and then another 180 turn to pull it out between the turbo and the frame and then the opposite to reinstall. By far the hardest part of the whole disassembly and reassembly is the t-stat housing. It is an awkward angle and the cat is in the way if you don't remove it. It went back together surprisingly faster then removal, like probably half the time, but also the knowledge from the experience of removing everything probably plays into that. Total time I probably had about 12 hours in the whole project over 4 days mostly at night after work.
 

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Glad it worked out for you! I installed the two check valves when I did mine. I change coolant in all my cars often so I bought the vacuum fill tool. Cheap and makes it easy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Glad it worked out for you! I installed the two check valves when I did mine. I change coolant in all my cars often so I bought the vacuum fill tool. Cheap and makes it easy.
I debated the check valves, honestly I debated them when I did the coolant flush last year. After a few times using the compressed air I was able to get the system running well last time so I didn't add them. This time I think I got all the air out again so it will be a few years before I change the coolant. I've heard some folks still do get air pockets even using the vacuum fill tool even from some shops. Did you drill a hole in your t-stat to help with that?
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
It's been almost a couple weeks and I'm happy to report that I finally was able to really test everything out and took about a 2 hour drive today. Temps stayed constant around 187-194 with a mix of back highways and small town stoplights. I'm sure it's a placebo effect, but I swear it feels like it runs better, but I also feel the same way after an oil change, haha. Additionally, I'm currently debating putting the DDM Venom brace back on though. I honestly didn't notice it wasn't there and it's a PITA to install.
 

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It's been almost a couple weeks and I'm happy to report that I finally was able to really test everything out and took about a 2 hour drive today. Temps stayed constant around 187-194 with a mix of back highways and small town stoplights. I'm sure it's a placebo effect, but I swear it feels like it runs better, but I also feel the same way after an oil change, haha. Additionally, I'm currently debating putting the DDM Venom brace back on though. I honestly didn't notice it wasn't there and it's a PITA to install.
Glad to hear you were successful.

Very few people have reported any benefit from that brace.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Glad to hear you were successful.

Very few people have reported any benefit from that brace.
It's sad after tackling the WP replacement, that I consider the Venom brace to be a PITA, but I struggled pretty good the last time I installed it. I had to pull it to get to the front WP bolts. You have to snake it through all of that wiring and the driver's side is almost impossible to bolt in. I imagine a pneumatic wrench would help, but it's a one click of the ratchet at time in my case. No matter what extensions I use I haven't found anywhere to comfortably do the lower bolt.
 
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